The effects of the traditional producing system on physicochemical, microbial and sensory properties of Caciocavallo Palermitano cheese

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Abstract

Caciocavallo Palermitano (CP) is a traditional cheese made withraw milk from cows of Sicilian local breeds fed pasture-baseddiets in extensive farms (EXT), processed by an artisanal technology(ART) based on wooden tools and the action of nativemicroflora. CP is obtained also in intensive farms (INT) wheremilk from cows of specialized breeds fed dry diets is transformedby advanced procedures (ADV) using a stainless steel equipmentand lactic acid starter cultures. This research was planned toinvestigate the changes in cheese properties due to productionsystem and ripening., Milk was collected 3 times from an EXTand an INT farm and processed in ART and ADV conditions. The12 produced CP were evaluated at 30, 60 and 120d. EXT CPshowed higher yield and protein, lower fat, NaCl and soluble N, aless yellow color, a smoother paste, and a sweeter, less bitter andsalty, and more acidic taste than INT CP. The pasture led to EXTCP with a beneficial FA profile to human health, richer in PUFA,n-3 FA and CLA. ART CP showed lower yield, higher fat and colorindexes, lower NaCl and soluble N, a harder and more compactpaste, with less holes, and at taste was less bitter, salty andacidic, and more piquant than ADV CP. During ripening, the solubleN, the yellow color and the consistency of paste increased.In ART CP, the proteolysis was slower, and the increasing of yellowcolor was more intense. The microbial analysis of ART CPshowed that the wooden vat is a reservoir of lactic acid bacteria(LAB) inoculating milk, among which strains of Streptococcusthermophilus were dominant and acted as a starter culture,while undesired microorganisms were absent or very low. Duringripening, all LAB decreased except enterococci. The canonicaldiscriminant analysis of physicochemical and microbial data wasable to separate CP from different productions and ripeningtime. Among dominant LAB, 10 species were genetically identifiedat strain level and some of them showed antibacterial activity.In ART CP, the comparison of polymorphic profiles of LABstrains isolated from the wooden vat with those of strains collectedduring maturation showed the persistence of 3 Enterococcusspp. strains, among which E. faecalis was found at dominantlevel till 120d. The absence of these strains in ADV CP evidencedthe contribution of the wooden vat LAB during ripening. EXT andART CP showed the best features in terms of hygienic safety,health benefits and typical sensory properties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages34-34
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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